Secret Trials Hide UK Role In Torture: Activists


The British government has been planning to introduce secret trials called Kafkaesque, which could themselves be kept secret under legislation before the Lords

The UK government is planning to introduce secret trials, which opposition groups condemn.

The UK government would be able to apply to the courts for a case to be held in closed material proceedings (CMP) under the Justice and Security Bill.

The government could present evidence under CMP to a judge without the defence having a right to challenge it or even being aware of the nature of the evidence.

These plans of secret trials have been widely condemned by human rights lawyers and civil liberties groups as an attempt by the UK government to place itself and the security services above the law.

During debates among the Lords, government minister Baroness Stowell stated that "in some instances the fact of the application (for CMP) will not be made public."

Lord Falconer asked the minister "whether it is envisaged that the fact of an application being made for a closed material proceeding should be kept secret."

The legal charity Reprieve also opposed the introduction of secret trials and condemned any suggestions under which CMP applications could be kept secret.

Reprieve's executive director Clare Algar said, "These courts could be used to sweep serious state human rights abuses - such as torture - under the carpet."



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